Behaviors That Can Harm Your Teeth

In Blog, Dental Care by Dr. Lattinelli

Queens Dental Habits | Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

Since childhood, we are taught to brush our teeth twice a day, floss regularly and visit a dentist every 6 months for maintaining our teeth. But healthy teeth and gums need much more than just brushing & flossing. There are several seemingly ‘innocent’ habits that put our teeth at risk for getting damaged permanently! Our cosmetic dentistry office has compiled a list of habits that can damage your teeth- chipping, cracking, enamel erosion or gum problems.

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Using a Hard Toothbrush – If you use a brush that’s too hard, it can cause your gums (gingiva) to leave your teeth roots and recede. It can also lead to abrasion (loss of tooth structure) of teeth surfaces. It is best to use a soft-bristled, multi-tufted brush.

Brushing Hard – Even if you use a soft brush, brushing teeth with a lot of pressure can cause abrasion of teeth and gum recession. There is a proper technique to brush properly without applying too much pressure. Gentle up and down movements break up the plaque buildup on tooth surfaces. Your dentist will demonstrate the proper technique if you ask. Brushing twice a day — morning and night — is sufficient.

Brushing Immediately After Meals – Tooth enamel is weakened by acidity in foods and beverages. Brushing immediately after eating can erode the enamel. So, wait for 30 minutes, at least, post meals.

Biting Nails – Nail biting is a harmful habit that exerts forces, outside what’s normal, on the teeth and can wear them down causing small fractures.

Tooth Grinding and Clenching – Tooth grinding also called bruxism exerts excessive forces on the teeth that can result in wearing of teeth, fractures or even looseness, pain and other symptoms. It often occurs when people sleep; a night guard can help protect against damage from bruxism.

Not Using a Mouth Guard – While playing contact sports, mouth guards are very important to protect your teeth from blows to the face and head and reduce the risk of broken or lost teeth or even tongue bite and lip cuts.

Using Your Teeth as Tools – Your teeth are the most important tools meant for chewing and are not meant to be used as tools for opening bottle tops, chewing off threads, holding pins or pen caps etc. These behaviors can cause fractures, chips, and cracks.

Ignoring Expert Advice – If you are undergoing dental treatment of any sort be it braces, retainers, bridges, root canal treatment, it is always best to follow the doctor’s advice to the ‘t’. So if you are asked to wear your retainers for a certain duration of time or not to eat hard stuff till your treatment is over, follow it obediently.

Excessive Coffee or Aerated Drinks – Coffee and all types of aerated/soda drinks are highly acidic. They cause the enamel to erode over time causing damage to the teeth as well as result in staining.

Clean white teeth, well taken care of, will not only make you look good, but they will also help boost confidence. So, work on them and smile as much as you can. If you have questions please schedule an appointment with our Manhattan dental office. Dr Lattinelli’s office is located near the Upper East Side in Manhattan.